Gadget: Egg Slicer with Hole Puncher

Punch hole before boiling

Easy and clean peel after boiling

Cut egg into slices

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Toast with Avocado and Smoked Salmon

Ingredients

1 medium ripe avocado
1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 slices grainy bread or 1 grainy, seedy bagel, halved
1 small cucumber, cut into thin ribbons
few red onion slices
2 oz wild smoked salmon
sprouts or microgreens or fresh dill sprigs for garnish

Method

  1. Halve avocado, remove pit and scoop out flesh into a small bowl. Add lemon juice and a couple grinds of salt and pepper. Mash well with a fork, leaving a few lumps. Set aside.
  2. Toast bread until nice ‘n’ toasty (so it won’t go soggy after topping with avocado!).
  3. Spread half the avocado mixture over each piece of toast. Top with cucumber ribbons and onion slices, followed by salmon.
  4. Add garnish and serve.

Makes 2 servings.

Source: Yum and Yummer

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Mediterranean Diet Shown to Prolong Seniors’ Lives

Catharine Paddock wrote . . . . . . .

A study of older adults by researchers in Italy suggests that the recipe for a longer life is to follow a Mediterranean diet.

Many studies have already hailed the benefits to health and longevity of the Mediterranean diet, but few have focused on older people.

The new research has come from the I.R.C.C.S. Neuromed Mediterranean Neurological Institute in Italy and comprises two parts.

The first is a study that followed 5,200 people aged 65 and older for approximately 8 years.

The second is an analysis that added data from several other studies, bringing the total of older individuals evaluated to 12,000.

In a paper on the findings that now features in the British Journal of Nutrition, the researchers describe how they found that the seniors whose food intake most closely matched a Mediterranean diet lived the longest.

First study author Marialaura Bonaccio, an epidemiologist at I.R.C.C.S. Neuromed, explains that while they knew “that the Mediterranean diet is able to reduce the risk of mortality in the general population,” they did not know whether this might also be the case for older people “specifically.”

She and her colleagues also observed that there was a “dose-response” relationship between diet and survival in seniors: the closer the diet was to a Mediterranean one, the longer the survival.

The findings support the idea that adopting or continuing with a Mediterranean diet could help older people “maximize their prospects for survival,” they conclude.

Assessing the Mediterranean diet

Researchers started to define the Mediterranean diet in the 1960s as they compared eating habits and heart risks of people living in Greece and Southern Italy with those of individuals living in Northern Europe and the United States.

As more and more studies have been done, diverse definitions of what constitutes a Mediterranean diet have arisen. While there are some differences, they generally emphasize the following core components:

  • high intake of plant foods such as leafy and other vegetables, nuts, fruits, pulses, whole cereals, and olive oil
  • moderate consumption of fish, dairy, meat, and red wine
  • low intake of eggs and sweets

For their investigations, Bonaccio and colleagues used a 10-point Mediterranean diet score (MDS) based on one that has been used to study Greek populations.

The MDS assesses intake of different foods and also the ratio of unsaturated to saturated fats in the diet.

An MDS of 0 means minimal adherence to a traditional Mediterranean diet, while a score of 9 means maximum adherence.

The study findings

For the first part of the study, the team analyzed the link between adherence to the Mediterranean diet and survival in 5,200 individuals aged 62 living in the Molise region in central Italy. The people had been recruited for the Moli-sani project during 2005–2010.

The purpose of the Moli-sani project was to set up a study population that was separate from those that typically feature in health studies, which tend to focus on Northern Europe and the U.S.

The scientists found that over an 8.1-year median follow-up period, for every one-point increase in MDS, there was an associated reduction in risk of death from: all causes, coronary artery disease, cerebrovascular diseases, and diseases not due to cancer or cardiovascular causes.

In the second part of the study, the scientists searched databases for other similar studies that had examined links between the Mediterranean diet and mortality in older people.

They found six studies that matched their criteria, and they added the data from those to the data they had from the Moli-sani cohort. This gave a large pool of data on 11,738 individuals.

Analysis of the pooled data showed a similar pattern to the earlier results. A one-point rise in MDS was linked to around 5 percent reduction in risk of death from all causes.

Furthermore, an analysis of pooled data from three of the studies revealed an “inverse linear dose-response relationship.”

Commenting on their findings, the researchers explain that the foods that appear to offer the most protection in the Mediterranean diet are higher intakes of monounsaturated fats, such as in virgin olive oil, and “moderate consumption of alcohol, preferably during meals.”

Bonaccio remarks that while they considered “nutrition as a whole,” it was interesting to see the foods that “contribute to the ‘driving’ effect of the Mediterranean diet.”

Source: Medical News Today

Going ‘Low-Carb’? Your Odds for an Early Death May Rise

Amy Norton wrote . . . . . . . . .

People who slash carbohydrates from their diets may shorten their lifespan, a new study suggests.

Using data on nearly 25,000 Americans, researchers found that the one-quarter who ate the fewest carbs each day also had a higher risk of dying over the next six years. Specifically, they had higher death rates from heart disease, stroke and cancer.

The research was presented Tuesday at the European Society of Cardiology’s annual meeting, in Munich, Germany.

While the study couldn’t prove cause-and-effect, experts said the findings spotlight the potential impact of such diets — or any “extreme” way of eating — on long-term health.

Low-carb diets typically involve eating a lot of protein, mostly meat and dairy products, and consuming less vegetables, fruit and grains. The Atkins and Keto diets are two examples of this kind of eating regimen.

In fact, a study published earlier this month linked both high-carb and low-carb diets to an earlier death, said Connie Diekman, a registered dietitian who was not involved in the new research.

In that study, researchers found that Americans who typically ate a moderate amount of carbs — 50 to 55 percent of their daily calories — lived the longest, on average.

None of those studies prove that the carb content of people’s diets was the key factor in longevity, Diekman stressed.

But she said it all suggests, once again, that moderation is the wisest course.

“If you want to protect your health — and work to help prevent disease — the best advice is to avoid extreme eating patterns, and focus on a good balance of plant and animal food sources,” said Diekman, who directs university nutrition at Washington University in St. Louis.

The study’s lead researcher cautioned on low-carb diets, specifically. “Low-carbohydrate diets might be useful in the short term to lose weight, lower blood pressure and improve blood [sugar] control,” Dr. Maciej Banach, of the Medical University of Lodz, in Poland, said in a statement.

“But,” he added, “our study suggests that in the long term they are linked with an increased risk of death from any cause, and deaths due to cardiovascular disease, cerebrovascular disease and cancer.”

The findings are based on data from a U.S. government study that surveyed 24,825 adults who were about 48 years old, on average. The participants were asked about their usual eating habits, including the amount of carbohydrates they consumed. Banach’s team divided them into four groups based on the percentage of carbs in their diets.

Overall, the one-quarter with the lowest carb intake had a 32 percent higher risk of dying over the next six years, versus those who ate the most. Their odds of dying from heart disease or stroke were about 50 percent higher, while their risk of death from cancer was 35 percent greater, the researchers reported.

Of course, there may be many differences between people who opt for low-carb over higher-carb diets: They may be trying to lose weight, for example.

The researchers did account for people’s body weight, along with other factors — such as smoking, exercise habits and income. And low-carb diets were still linked to a higher early death risk.

The investigators then tried to confirm the findings by looking at data from seven long-term studies that followed more than 447,000 people over roughly 16 years. Overall, people who ate the fewest carbs had a 15 percent higher risk of dying during the study period, versus those who ate the most carbs.

Dr. Todd Hurst is a cardiologist at Banner University Medicine Heart Institute, in Phoenix. Like Diekman, he said the findings do not prove cause and effect.

On a broader level, Hurst said, “I think the focus on macronutrients in the diet is misguided.”

Macronutrients include carbs, protein and fat. And that information alone, Hurst said, says little about the quality of the diet.

A carb-rich diet full of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts and seeds is much different from a high-carb diet loaded with processed foods, he pointed out. Similarly, a low-carb diet that has a variety of whole foods differs from one based on meat and butter.

“I tell my patients there is no single ‘healthy’ diet,” Hurst said. Instead, he suggests they avoid processed foods and get plenty of nutrient-rich whole foods.

When it comes to losing weight and being healthy, Hurst said, it’s vital to make diet changes that you can keep up for the long haul.

Research presented at medical meetings should be considered preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed journal.

Source: HealthDay


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